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Four hundred thousand square miles of Eastern Russia lie under floodwater

Russia’s Far East has fallen victim to unprecedented flooding that is far worse than its oldest residents can recall or since records began.

Dmitry Khomenko

Russia’s Far East has fallen victim to unprecedented flooding that is far worse than its oldest residents can recall or since records began.
The afflicted area covers 400,000 square miles — the equivalent of Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico combined.

Dmitry Khomenko

The afflicted area covers 400,000 square miles — the equivalent of Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico combined.
Local authorities believe that, in the worst-case scenario, up to 100,000 people may have to be evacuated from flooded towns and villages in the affected area. Twenty-one thousand people have already had to flee their homes.

EMERCOM of Russia

Local authorities believe that, in the worst-case scenario, up to 100,000 people may have to be evacuated from flooded towns and villages in the affected area. Twenty-one thousand people have already had to flee their homes.
One victim of the floods is pensioner Alexander Lyovin, from the tiny village of Kukelevo in the Jewish Autonomous Region. Although his home was flooded and he finds walking hard, Lyovin met all offers to be evacuated from his house with a firm refusal.

Dmitry Khomenko

One victim of the floods is pensioner Alexander Lyovin, from the tiny village of Kukelevo in the Jewish Autonomous Region. Although his home was flooded and he finds walking hard, Lyovin met all offers to be evacuated from his house with a firm refusal.
The regional administration has arranged temporary, emergency accommodation for flood victims in schools and colleges. School gymnasiums are tightly packed with rows of mattresses.

EMERCOM of Russia

The regional administration has arranged temporary, emergency accommodation for flood victims in schools and colleges. School gymnasiums are tightly packed with rows of mattresses.
“I've lost everything! My home and my vegetable-garden!” says Svetlana Fillipovna, weeping. “They've already paid us initial hardship payments — 10,000 rubles ($300) — and they say there's more to come. It comes to 400,000 rubles ($12,100) for our family. But we can't build a new house for that money, and in a month or two it'll be winter.”

EMERCOM of Russia

“I've lost everything! My home and my vegetable-garden!” says Svetlana Fillipovna, weeping. “They've already paid us initial hardship payments — 10,000 rubles ($300) — and they say there's more to come. It comes to 400,000 rubles ($12,100) for our family. But we can't build a new house for that money, and in a month or two it'll be winter.”
Some desperate homesteaders in the Far East have flatly refused to move out of their flooded homes. Instead, they've moved to upper floors and attics, taking whatever undamaged valuables they can with them, to safeguard them from looters.

EMERCOM of Russia

Some desperate homesteaders in the Far East have flatly refused to move out of their flooded homes. Instead, they've moved to upper floors and attics, taking whatever undamaged valuables they can with them, to safeguard them from looters.
The floodwaters have wrecked harvest hopes: The flood has hit the principal agricultural areas of the Russian Far East.

Dmitry Khomenko

The floodwaters have wrecked harvest hopes: The flood has hit the principal agricultural areas of the Russian Far East.
Everything else is under water, as far as the eye can see. Amur Region is Russia's primary soya-growing region, producing more than half of Russia's soybean crops. There is no trace to be seen of them under the water.

EMERCOM of Russia

Everything else is under water, as far as the eye can see. Amur Region is Russia's primary soya-growing region, producing more than half of Russia's soybean crops. There is no trace to be seen of them under the water.
Huge resources are being thrown into the battle to save people from the flooding.

EMERCOM of Russia

Huge resources are being thrown into the battle to save people from the flooding.
Thirteen thousand Emergency Services workers have been brought into the affected area from other regions of Russia.

EMERCOM of Russia

Thirteen thousand Emergency Services workers have been brought into the affected area from other regions of Russia.
Perilous water-levels are rapidly approaching the Far East's principle city, Khabarovsk. The last recorded flooding here was in the 19th century, when river levels hit 20 feet. The water is already lapping at over 23 feet now, and experts fear that, if nothing changes, it will hit 26 feet within a week.

Dmitry Khomenko

Perilous water-levels are rapidly approaching the Far East's principle city, Khabarovsk. The last recorded flooding here was in the 19th century, when river levels hit 20 feet. The water is already lapping at over 23 feet now, and experts fear that, if nothing changes, it will hit 26 feet within a week.
Khabarovsk stretches for over 30 miles along the banks of the Amur River; its embankments have been strengthened in anticipation and work continues around the clock. Construction workers, soldiers and volunteers have been stacking the city's central embankments with numerous sandbags.

Inessa Dotsenko

Khabarovsk stretches for over 30 miles along the banks of the Amur River; its embankments have been strengthened in anticipation and work continues around the clock. Construction workers, soldiers and volunteers have been stacking the city's central embankments with numerous sandbags.
In places, the water gushes through the flood defenses being rushed into place, with waves that hurtle down the city's roads and threaten residential buildings. The events that threaten to bring havoc to local residents are part of normal life for the Amur River.

Dmitry Khomenko

In places, the water gushes through the flood defenses being rushed into place, with waves that hurtle down the city's roads and threaten residential buildings. The events that threaten to bring havoc to local residents are part of normal life for the Amur River.
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23 August, 2013
Tags: natural disasters, flood, flood in far east

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